Scientists just discovered an 88,000-year-old finger bone in Saudi Arabia that changes our understanding of human migration around the world

businessinsider.com – The bone indicates that early human migrations may have happened more often than previously thought, and to regions scientists hadn't suspected.

Source: Huw S. Groucutt, et al. Homo sapiens in Arabia by 85,000 years ago. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2018.

Bread unearthed by archaeologists is 4,000 years older than agriculture

upi.com – Archaeologists have recovered the remains of a piece of flatbread baked by hunter-gatherers 14,400 years ago -- 4,000 years before the advent of agriculture.

Source: Amaia Arranz-Otaegui, Lara Gonzalez Carretero, Monica N. Ramsey, Dorian Q. Fuller, Tobias Richter. Archaeobotanical evidence reveals the origins of bread 14,400 years ago in northeastern Jordan. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018.

After 5,300 years, the last meal of an ancient Iceman has been revealed — and it was a high-fat, meaty feast

businessinsider.com – Otzi, the 5,300 year old iceman ate a high-fat, meat-lover's diet. But he wasn't 'Paleo,' and he also ate some toxic ferns and wheat. Scientists are analyzing his stomach contents using DNA analyses, and they're finding out that he wasn't in perfect health.

Source: Frank Maixner, et al. The Iceman’s Last Meal Consisted of Fat, Wild Meat, and Cereals. Current Biology, 2018.

World's Oldest Colors Shed Light On Ancient Life

discovermagazine.com – The oldest biological colors ever found could help explain why complex, multicellular life took so long to evolve on Earth.

Source: N. Gueneli, et al. 1.1-billion-year-old porphyrins establish a marine ecosystem dominated by bacterial primary producers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2018.

Hominins Likely Left Africa Earlier than Believed

sciam.com – Our ancestors may have been on the move out of Africa 300,000 years earlier than we originally thought.

Source: Zhaoyu Zhu, et al. Hominin occupation of the Chinese Loess Plateau since about 2.1 million years ago. Nature, 2018.

Invasive rats harm reefs by robbing coral of nutritious bird excrement

upi.com – Rats have a surprising impact on the health of reefs. The invasive rodents not only disrupt online ecosystems, but harm surrounding marine ecosystems, too.

Source: Nicholas A. J. Graham, et al. Seabirds enhance coral reef productivity and functioning in the absence of invasive rats. Nature, 2018.

Trilobites: New Clues to How the Biggest Dinosaurs Got So Big

nytimes.com – A fossil found in Argentina that is more than 200 million years old suggests the most giant of dinosaurs existed earlier than paleontologists believed.

Source: Cecilia Apaldetti, Ricardo N. Martínez, Ignacio A. Cerda, Diego Pol, Oscar Alcober. An early trend towards gigantism in Triassic sauropodomorph dinosaurs. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2018.

CRISPR’d Cancer Cells Revolt Against Tumors

geek.com – Harvard scientists are using CRISPR to rewire cancerous cells into lean, mean, disease-fighting machines. According to a paper published last week in the journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers can “rehome” cells to attack …

Source: Clemens Reinshagen, et al. CRISPR-enhanced engineering of therapy-sensitive cancer cells for self-targeting of primary and metastatic tumors. Science Translational Medicine, 2018.

Dogs spread across the Americas alongside humans. Then they got eaten.

popsci.com – When people traversed across the land bridge connecting Siberia to North America, dogs trotted by their sides. Canines and their human companions spread throughout the continent for thousands of years, settling from California to Nova Scotia and down to Peru. These dogs ranged from the size of squat bull-terroirs to as large as hulking malamutes. By all accounts, these early American hounds were thriving. That was, until the arrival of European colonists, when the continent of dogs was...

Source: Máire Ní Leathlobhair, et al. The evolutionary history of dogs in the Americas. Science, 2018.